Filling cupcakes gives you an opportunity to add more flavor and the element of surprise to otherwise plain treats. Using simple techniques, cupcakes can be filled with almost anything after they are baked. Think carefully about your flavor pairings as well as who will eat the cupcakes before you decide what to hide inside.
Before you can add any filling, the cupcakes need to cool completely after you bake them. Slide a small, sharp knife into the top of a cooled cupcake at an angle toward the center. Begin slicing in a circle to cut out a cone-shaped piece of cupcake. After you’ve filled the cupcake, use the top of the cone to cover the filling and frosting to cover all traces of the cut. With airy cupcakes, you can skip this step and simply insert a pastry tip into the top of the cupcake to squeeze your filling inside.
Creams and Soft Fillings
Jams, puddings, flavored cream cheeses and other soft fillings all work well in cupcakes. Use a pastry bag to pipe the filling neatly into the cupcakes. If you prefer, use a zip-top bag with the corner sliced off to fill the cakes. Choose fillings that pair well with the flavor of the cake, such as classic devil’s food cake with vanilla cream or chocolate cake with raspberry or hazelnut filling. Vanilla cakes can be combined with strawberry or butterscotch pudding. To avoid soggy cakes, make the cakes on the day you serve them. Keep cupcakes with fresh fillings refrigerated.
Solid or Hard Fillings
Cupcakes can be filled with chocolates, ice cream and real fruit for an unusual, unexpected texture and flavor surprise. Avoid hard foods because they pose a choking hazard. Fresh strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries can enhance the flavor of the cake, especially when combined with a similarly flavored frosting. Small chocolates or filled chocolates fit easily into the center of a cupcake.
Amp up the festive atmosphere by working the fillings into the holiday theme. Easter cupcakes can be frosted to resemble eggs and filled with a chocolate treat or you can leave a marshmallow chick poking from the center. For Halloween, frosting the cupcake like an eyeball or other body part and filling the cupcake with a red-colored pudding, syrup or jam can create a spooky dessert. Pumpkin filling and a gingerbread-spiced cupcake work well for fall holidays.
References and ResourcesWilton: Filling a Cupcake
Baking 911: Cupcakes: Filling Using the Cone Method